Why try self-publishing?

By on 10/07/2014, in Blog posts



Earlier this year i did an email Q&A with Martin Kynningsrud of Norgesnytt regarding self-publishing.


The interview was translated into Norwegian – but the original transcript (very different from the published feature) is reproduced below.  Hopefully, it may give some of you some insight or inspiration for taking this route



  • Q. Why self-publish?
  • A. As an english writer based in the heart of a ‘foreign language market’, there are three potential resources for book publication: 1. an english publisher 2. a Norwegian publisher or 3. self publishing – with the first option it is a difficult prospect, the market in the UK is saturated and the publishers are reluctant to invest in anything that is not likely to yield an instant return, still feeling, as they are, the downturn in the UK economy – add to this the necessity of having to go through the agency system, again there is the same problem of too many writers not enough willing and available agents. With option 2 the approach is actually much easier, yet the industry is still rather cautious; furthermore as a non-Norwegian language writer, the publishers are sometimes intimidated by the prospect of marketing an unknown overseas writer; additionally, English text is exempt from the funding scheme available to Norwegian texts, as for 3, there are massive limitations in resources, marketing, connections – in every area of the publishing process, in fact; however, the advantage is that it allows an author to get their work in the public domain and to take it from there – at bottom, writing is all about being read – if people can actually read what one has written, that is the place it all begins from, regardless of the publishing direction.
  • Q.  What is the self-publishing process?
  • A. Initially I used a website (smashwords) that converts documents to all the different ebook formats and then acts as a ‘publisher’, really they are more like a distributor, using their own site as a market place and having links to the major book retailers worldwide. Amazon also offer a similar service, however they only convert to the kindle format. the process is very simple, one submits a strictly formatted document of the text, plus a cover image, the document is checked for correctness and compatibility and, if approved, converted and made available.
    For the paperback, the process is largely the same – however the demands on the technical preparation of the document are much more relaxed – with a book, the product appears as it does in the submitted document, with left/right pages prepared etc; the ebook formats need to be much more adaptable to user preferences, so the text has to be subject to changes in font size etc.
    Ebooks are available immediately from the core company, and after an unspecifiable delay at the linked vendors. The paperback version is printed on demand, so when a purchase is made a copy of the book is generated and sent to the purchaser….
  • Q. Would you recommend self-publishing to others who dream of writing a book?
    A. Naturally. Self-publishing allows a book to enter the public domain, ultimately books are meant to be read and shared – self-publishing provides a 100% potential for this to happen.
    Regardless of whether one self-publishes or has a ‘real’ publisher – the book is still subject to promotion and marketing, therein lies the difference – yet in spite of a publisher’s resources and expertise, there is still no guarantee their marketing campaign will hit – most book successes are based on word-of-mouth recommendation.
    What must also be remembered is that self-publishing is not entirely as the name suggests – effectively, the service provider still absorbs the majority of profit in the paper form, with ebooks, not so much, but there is still a presence.
    Self-publishing also provides greater control for the author – which is both a good but also potentially dangerous thing – if someone is to follow the self-publishing route it is essential that they utilize independent readers, editors and as many sources of quality control as possible.
  • Q. Do you have further books planned?
    A. I have a novel and a collection of short stories completed – my plan is to self-publish the short stories and to send the novel to UK agencies. If that does not yield any success, then I will consider offering it self-published and focus on sending my next finished novel to agents.
    Having the self-publishing option helps sustain momentum until a deal comes along – the self-publishing option provides something of substance to build a readership around – without self-publishing, all an unsigned writer has is a bunch of papers.


    This post was originally posted here


    To purchase the books referred to please follow this link